Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Black, dark and moody part II

In a very unexpected turn of events the UK government has not cut the science budget. Well, it has in real terms but nothing like as much as we all expected. This is clearly good news! The problem now is what happens to the STFC, the research council that funds facilities such as the one I work at:

"One research council that is particularly vulnerable, however, is the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which has the largest proportion of capital expenditure of all of them."

This will all be decided in the next couple of months and I haven't the energy to explain or describe how this happens right now, but will do soon. In any event UK physics and astronomy facilities funded by the STFC are still under a grave threat.

Anyway, in my previous post, "Black, dark and moody" an anonymous poster suggested the picture I took was a perfect opportunity for a high dynamic range (HDR) picture. It turns out I took the photos to do this and that's what you see above. I'm not sure if I like it, it's a little too "painterly" for me, but it does look nice, at least in my opinion!

I suppose I'll have to explain what HDR is again but forgive me for not doing that now, I'm so busy and quite tired. On the other hand I wouldn't mind if you told me which you prefer - this picture or the one in "Black, dark and moody".

PS. Apologies if anyone sees this multiple times - problems with blogger.


musingegret said...

I enjoy your photos very much and have spent time journeying through your archives and reveling in color and content. I prefer the 'black, dark and moody' due to the stark contrast/silhouette of the rocks and trees against the water.

Devany said...

I prefer the first Black Dark and Moody. The HDR image is cool, but reminds me of something on a the cover of a New Age CD. ALL of your photos are great.

boo said...

I prefer the original - for some reason the HDR feels unsettling to me. The colors and lighting are just "off". (I know, that's what HDR does, but I prefer the natural look for this particular scene)

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the "key" to good HDR processing is to complete it in a way that is not apparent in the final image. Success to me is when you have to tell someone it's HDR.

Dave (Kona)

Anonymous said...

I prefer the 2nd photo. It looks more mysterious, though the 1st one is darker.

Glad that things are looking up for you.

Tom said...

musingegret - thanks so much for your kind words! I think contrast is such an important thing in pictures so understand your comment. HDR can take that away sometimes but often it's the case of what you're used to seeing in a photo compared to what your eye can actually see. But overall, you're absolutely right!

Devany - good to hear from you again! Hope you can make the next summit trip next year! And of course thank you for the compliment!

What a great description by the way. I can see what you mean looking at the picture again. I didn't like it when I posted it and still don't, but I haven't found a way to make this particular shot look right with HDR, so resorted to this!

Boo - I agree - see my reply to Dave below.

Dave - As I've got the hang of things over the months I've found a way to make some of my MK summit shots look real despite being HDR. I agree with you completely. I just couldn't get this particular shot to look right and gave up after I thought "this looks kinda cool!".

Do you use photmatix by the way? There's a new release (4.0) and although I haven't tried out everything yet I think there are some great improvements.

Gigi - you're in a minority it seems, but I think there are some things in the 2nd picture which look nice which is why I posted it in the end - could have spent days trying to make it look just right!

Oh, and the real financial fight is just beginning. There will be more news in the next few weeks I think.

Thanks to everyone for comments, much appreciated!


Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of HDR, but I am a purist that is fighting the new wave of technology:)

Tom said...

Horsemom - I understand where you're coming from! But I'm sure when filters were first introduced, especially those new-fangled ND-split filters - many people held the same opinion. Same thing with polarising filters.

Anyway, ultimately it's all in the eye of the beholder.